Friday, June 26, 2009

Passing Thoughts

As we begin to see the onslaught of "All Michael, All The Time" programming, a few quickly-written thoughts before running out the door to get my cholesterol checked. (Following that, the rest of the morning will be spent eating all the things I avoided before the test so no one at the lab would know.)

Vacation Progress Report

Pretty productive week so far. A couple of things from the "do these or see your life as worthless" list mentioned in the previous post had to be put off, but for valid reasons. (I misplaced the charger for the tool I need to work on the magic case and am waiting for the new one I ordered, and yesterday was my sons' birthday and my wife, as is her custom every year, made them each their choice of yummy cake, so making the cupcakes as I'd first intended would have has us sitting here with more cake than any civilized family of four should ever have.) Other projects, of course, take their place seamlessly. Got some bank business tended to, survived both a colonoscopy and a dentist visit, finished what I hope is the final draft of the article I'd mentioned previously, got some weeds pulled, even put a converter box on the old black and white tv here in my office. (Be warned: if you're putting a converter box on an old tv, there's about $18 worth of parts you'll need in addition to the converter box itself. The upside is, it's so easy even I was able to figure it out.) It's been so productive one of the only things I haven't gotten around to doing this week is having a vacation. But it is on the list.

Not Meant to Seem Cynical, Just Honest

I'm haven't been what you'd consider a fan of either Farrah Fawcett or Michael Jackson over the years, but it seems impossible not to offer at least some brief thoughts on their passings yesterday.

For all she accomplished as a real actress - and she accomplished much - anyone who was aware of their surroundings in 1976 undoubtedly still remembers the famous Farrah swimsuit poster. Putting the show business stuff aside and seeing a human element in all of this, that moment-frozen-in-time image of a bright, attractive woman with a great smile makes her death, and the time-passes-and-we're all-mortal reminders that go with it, all the more poignant. By now it's probably fair to say everyone's life has been touched by cancer, and in that context Farrah impressed me greatly these past months. That thought would be incomplete without also mentioning Ryan O'neal, to whom I hadn't given a lot of thought before, and what a mensch he's been through the whole difficult process. I don't expect this to matter, except in some small cosmic way and probably not even that, but they both have my respect.

When I heard the first reports saying Michael Jackson had died, it was impossible for me not to think about the reports of Andy Kaufman's passing some years back. Hoping this doesn't read like a crude and inappropriate joke, because it is the absolute truth, Andy Kaufman was dead for two weeks before I believed it. If you remember the man's aggressively creative comic genius, you'll also remember it would not have been entirely out of character for him to release a story like that as an elaborate prank, a grand media nose-tweak.

In Michael Jackson's case, I was skeptical at first but within a few hours the reports did convince me. It goes without saying, of course, that the sudden death of a 50 year old guy, any 50 year old guy, is sad and a bit disturbing. And as a creative artist, Jackson really was amazing - it's not supposed to be possible for a human being to move like that. It's hard not let the personal wierdnesses - and that's the kindest way I can say it - cloud the view, especially since these were choices he made himself. I've heard moving, eloquent statements from members of his family, musicians he worked with, friends, etc. (I've been tuning in and out of the news, so I seem to have missed any endearing memories poured out by the kids and parents involved in the pedophilia accusations, including the one he settled out of court with. You would have thought that a $22 million settlement would have at least gotten the child to say something lovely now. People are just so ungrateful.)

As we prepare to endure several weeks of repetition of the same clips, stories, quotes, reports and, of course, rememberances (first from those who knew him, from those familiar with those who knew him, then - in the third and (hopefully) final wave, from those who went to nursery school with someone related to someone who knew him), I offer the following encouragement: it eventually settled down with Elvis, and it will eventually settle down with St. Michael.

6 comments:

FrankandMary said...

My opinion of someone doesn't change because they've just passed away, or because I listened to one of their albums a lot as a kid. He was pretty transparently insane in later life and I do imagine the inappropriate behavior with children quite possibly would not have taken place if someone, anyone of his hangers on or family, had gotten him some intensive medical/mental help- or at the very least kept him away from constant contact with little children, & I felt that way before he hung his child over the balcony.

FrankandMary said...

Forgot to add: Hahahahahahaha, on all the eating after the blood work. Reminds me of friends who won't even eat a lettuce leaf before a WW weigh in, but partay afterward.

Angie said...

Do you want to know what I think? A humble Engishwoman? Well maybe not, but anyway.......

I feel sorry for Farrah a) because she died at all. I'm sure she didn't want to, and b) because she had the misfortune to die the same day as MJ, thereby denying us the hype that is being reserved all for MJ. I feel happy for her family though because THEY have been spared it all.

To tell the truth, I didn't even know she was ill!

Amy said...

I've been avoiding news channels. I got the when and the why, and that's enough for me. On to the important stuff, like why is it 102 here today? Ugh...

Tawnya said...

I am sorry about Farrah, I am sad by Michael. Although, I do not agree with Michael's choices and have been not so much a fan as of the late 80's early 90's. It is sad when people die. As for Ryan O'Neil, I have great respect for the man now. He did the right thing by Farrah and that impressed me because 1. He knew what was right and 2. he actually did it. Hope you get some vaction in on your vacation...

oldhousegal said...

It is sad when any person dies, whether they are famous or not. Here's my beef: I watched a 30 minute network news show tonight and saw 25 minutes on Michael Jackson and 5 minutes on Iran. There is something terribly wrong with that.

Your vacation sounds a lot like what mine are like sometimes. You hereby have my permission to goof off for the rest of it!